MPF is supporting a number of educational initiatives in the Westernport region with increasing collaboration amongst them.
In an area where some of the statistics are not encouraging it is fantastic to see the emergence of a dynamic, aspirational group of educators who are changing the narrative and the reality for children, young people and families.
At Westernport Secondary former Principal now Dept of Education Senior Education Improvement Leader, Michael Devine instigated a rumble of change which is being ramped up by Acting Principal, Christopher Quinn and his staff. Through programs like the Mobile STEM Lab and the Learning Guarantee, they are linking with feeder schools including Crib Point and Tyabb Rail Primary Schools.
The Mobile STEM Lab provides state of the art robotics equipment for a five week period at each of the eight feeder primary schools involved in the program. Students practice the coding they learn during the five week immersion at the Secondary School when back in their own classrooms. They gain exposure to new technologies earlier and gain 21st C skills while softening the transition from primary to secondary. Having suffered a downward trend in enrolments of last decade, WSC is seeing this reversed and rates of digital literacy increasing.
As noted in No Limits, Crib Point has been supported by MPF with a specialised speech pathology program which was so successful in 2018 it has led to the expansion to five MP primary schools and their feeder kinders. Crib Point is also supported with a lunch program that provides healthy lunch once a week for all children.
At Tyabb Rail MPF is supporting for the second year a specialist literacy program that aims to support children in the early years to gain the foundation skills to bounce on up the years. Data from testing shows the significant change the students achieve through the one on one daily program. Comparing this to children of a similar cohort but who are not getting the support (due to resource availability), it is clear this intervention significantly increases individual child development.
The MPF music program is in full swing at both Crib Point and Hastings Primary Schools. Delivered by trained musicians and primary school teachers, this program focuses on teaching children the language of music. It focuses on building knowledge and skills of the foundation elements of pitch and rhythm as a basis for more and more sophisticated musical literacy development.